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Safe Schools During COVID FAQ

*We update our FAQs on a regular basis to stay current with district, local and state guidelines.

  1. Science 
  2. Safety 
  3. Masks (updated - 7/15/22)
  4. Testing
  5. Vaccines (updated - 5/25/22)
  6. Students on campus (updated - 6/8/22)
  7. Coming on to campus 
  8. Enrollment
  9. Online option
  10. Family resources
  11. Social and emotional well-being
  12. Making sure students feel welcome
  13. Student success
  14. Digital access
  15. Special Education
  16. English Learners
  17. Specific subjects
  18. Athletics 


What is the current guidance for students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19?

Current quarantine guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health is reflected in the latest COVID-19 Decision Tree for K-12 Schools.


 This guidance applies to both students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms, and allows for individuals to return to work or school on day 6 if certain conditions are met. These directions include:

  • Stay home for at least five days.

  • Isolation may end after day five (can return on day six) if symptoms are improving, no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medication, and a rapid antigen test collected on day five or later is negative.

  • If symptoms or fever are not improving, isolation should continue until symptoms are improving and no fever for 24 hours without fever reducing medications, or until day 10 of isolation (return on day 11).

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others indoors and outdoors, and eat away from others for a total of 10 days.

For purposes of calculating isolation periods, Day 0 is the day of the positive viral test or the first day of symptoms, and day 1 is the first full day after.

I have heard districts are moving to a new ‘group tracing approach’ for identifying close contacts. What does that mean?

San Diego Unified considers the health and well-being of our students and staff a priority. Please be assured that we are committed to facilitating an optimal learning experience while ensuring the safety of our students and staff.

The definition of a close contact has been updated to anyone who is in a shared indoor space with an infected individual for longer than 15 minutes. As such, notifications to classrooms and other impacted groups of students will be sent out following a confirmed positive COVID-19 case.

It is important to note that infections diagnosed in students and school staff are not necessarily the result of exposure at school. In fact, schools are considered safe places to prevent infection between individuals, because safety protocols are followed at school and supervised.

I received a close contact notice for my student. What do I do now?

Your child may remain in school unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. Being exposed to somebody with COVID-19 does not necessarily mean that your child will become infected. In fact, scientific research and experience from around the country – including from California during this school year – demonstrate that schools remain among the safest places for children to be, because of high student and staff vaccination rates, frequent testing and well-ventilated rooms. 

All students (including vaccinated and those within 90 days of prior infection) are recommended to test on Day 3, 4, or 5. Your child can remain in school if tests are negative. Parents are only required to inform the school of positive test results. Exposed students who participate in testing may continue to take part in all aspects of K-12 schooling, including sports and extracurricular activities, unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

Please strongly consider signing your child up for the District-sponsored weekly COVID-19 testing at the school site. Alternative testing options for your child are home-testing kits as well as any public health, private medical, or other community testing site. For more information on testing programs at school, visit our District Testing Website.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, please ensure they isolate at home immediately and notify your school right away. When you notify us, we can take additional steps to keep our school community safe. We will give you a date when your child can return and if your child needs to be tested.

If you haven’t done so yet, we highly recommend your child get vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is 12 years of age or older, a booster dose is recommended five months after the second dose. Vaccinations against COVID-19 remain the best way to protect against the spread of this virus and against severe disease. Make an appointment to get vaccinated or contact your child’s doctor or healthcare provider to learn more. We also offer vaccines at some district sites. Visit our district COVID Vaccine Website for more details.


Will school sites follow COVID-19 safety guidelines? 

Yes. San Diego Unified has put into place substantial measures to protect the safety of all students, faculty, and staff on our campuses this year, including upgraded HVAC filtration from MERV 8 to a MERV 13, use of highly effective portable HEPA air purifiers, exceeding current requirements.

What ventilation protocols is the district implementing to keep my student safe?

Ventilation is a key component to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools. As the district moves to having more people on campus and students in classrooms, ensuring adequate room ventilation is key to reducing the airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.

Adequate ventilation is achieved by bringing in more outdoor air through open windows and doors, and by providing recirculated air that is highly filtered. These are best practices for diluting or displacing airborne COVID-19 particles, if the particles happen to be present in a room.

San Diego Unified is finalizing a program to provide air conditioning in every classroom in every school. The vast majority of schools are air-conditioned.       

The district has planned for maximum ventilation, with our goal to maintain five air exchanges per hour in the classroom. This is based on guidance from Harvard and the University of Colorado Boulder and in collaboration with our UCSD expert panel.  In order to achieve this, the district has implemented the following: 

  • All existing HVAC systems have been serviced and filters have been replaced.  Higher levels of filtration (i.e. Merv-13) are being installed in all systems that can accommodate them.  Systems have been adjusted to bring in more outside air.
  • Using natural ventilation (opening doors and windows, even when the HVAC is running).
  • Using air purifiers with HEPA filters (provides a higher level of filtration).  Air purifiers have been allocated to each site, and the numbers of purifiers in a classroom will vary based on MERV rating, room size, number of windows, type of HVAC system, etc. Air purifiers will be placed in strategic locations for maximum effectiveness. 

San Diego Unified is monitoring ventilation effectiveness in our school sites to ensure that the air exchanges are occurring and that the air is healthy for students and staff.  This is done by monitoring remote sensors spread across the district.  Indoor particulate sensors, which can measure microscopic size particles that could transport COVID-19 virus, are deployed and will be rotated to various rooms to gather information and inform decisions.  Also, carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors are in place in various classrooms to test the air. This has a different function than the particulate sensor and will help to determine the amount of fresh air entering the room.  Neither monitor detects COVID-19 but does help us to determine if we are providing quality room ventilation.  If either sensor records concerning numbers, district staff will determine what measures can be taken to correct the issue.  

What is the expectation for sanitation in classrooms?

Cleansing wipes (otherwise known as baby wipes) will be provided to schools to clean desks and chairs. Students may be asked to wipe down chairs and desks after use.

What safety protocols will be in place during on-campus meal times?

Schools are planning to serve all meals outdoors, weather and space permitting. Schools may use areas throughout the campus to assist in distancing children while they eat.   

Hand sanitizing dispensers will be located in lunch areas. Students will need to either wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer prior to picking up their food.

What is the district doing to keep students safe while riding a school bus?

Students are strongly encouraged to wear masks, they will be seated strategically, windows will be open and a vent will be used for circulation.



What are the current mask requirements? (updated - 7/15/22)

Effective Monday, July 18, indoor masking will be required at all schools and District offices. This includes indoor masking at any level-up facility. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 community level according to the CDC and County data and we will communicate if there are any changes in two weeks.

As a reminder, the District established criteria approved by our board on May 24, 2022 that, if reached, would require a return to mandatory indoor masking. This week, one of those criteria was reached, with San Diego County entering the ‘high’ COVID-19 community level.


Will mandatory masking requirements return in the future? (updated - 5/24/22)

Effective Wednesday, May 25, 2022, indoor masking may return to required status for individual schools and/or the District if the following risk levels are reached. This would apply to the remainder of the 2021-22 school year and 2022 summer school.  

  • Individual schools will resume required masking indoors for a minimum of a 14-day period, when:
    • Within the past 14 days, at least three outbreaks (three or more cases in an individual classroom or stable group constitutes one outbreak) have occurred in the school, AND more than 5% of the school population (students and staff) is infected. OR,
    • In a 3 consecutive-day span, 10% or more of the student population is absent each day due to illness.  Note this metric will not apply to 2022 summer school.  
  •  Districtwide, all schools and district sites will return to required indoor masking when San Diego County is in the High Level (orange) under CDC Community Level.  

Where can I find the status of my school for the masking risk levels? (updated - 5/24/22)

The District's contact tracing team is monitoring and recording the infections, outbreaks and absences due to illness.

School administrators will be notified if their site is approaching three outbreaks and a 5 percent infection rate OR three consecutive days of more than 10 percent of absences due to illness. Families and staff will receive a notice if any of the risk levels are reached at their school site.

Families and staff can visit the COVID-19 Dashboard and click on the Masking Metrics tab to view the status of their school. These metrics are updated daily.

The CDC COVID-19 Community Level for San Diego County can be viewed here


What types of masks are recommended for staff and students?

It is highly recommended that staff and students wear surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s), but if they choose to wear cloth masks, we follow CDC guidance  around these types of masks. 

  • Do wear cloth masks with:
    • A proper fit over your nose, mouth, and chin to prevent leaks
    • Multiple layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric
    • Nose wire
    • Fabric that blocks light when held up to bright light source
  • Do NOT wear cloth masks with:
    • Gaps around the sides of the face or nose
    • Exhalation valves, vents, or other openings
    • Single-layer fabric or those made of thin fabric that don’t block light
    •  Wet or dirty material

The CDPH's Masks for Kids: Tips and Resources fact sheet and a one-page flyer in English and Spanish are great resources for learning the differences between types of masks. It is also recommended that parents:

  • Seek the advice of their medical provider if their child has a medical condition, such as a heart or lung problem, and ask their health care provider before they use methods to improve mask fit or use a respirator
  • Make sure their child knows that they can switch to a cloth or paper mask if using a respirator is uncomfortable, or if they are have difficulty breathing or get dizzy

Will masks still be available at schools and district offices for students and staff?
Yes. The district has a variety of masks for student and staff use if they inadvertently forget to bring a mask.  The district has a supply of cloth and disposable masks,  KF94 masks for staff and students, N95 masks for staff, and masks with clear inserts for TK - 2 students for language development.
Can wearing a mask for long periods of time harm my student?
We consult with district pediatrician, Dr. Howard Taras, who specializes in the fields of School Health, community engagement and clinical research and is also a professor of pediatrics at UCSD School of Medicine. 
Dr. Taras has advised it is a misconception that rebreathing your own exhaled carbon dioxide by continually wearing a mask will cause health problems.  Carbon dioxide will not build up behind a regular cloth or surgical mask. Cloth or surgical masks allow gasses to pass through easily in both directions trapping particles (droplets) out. Dr. Taras further advised that months of experience with children and adults worldwide wearing masks prove the safety and benefits of wearing a mask. 


How frequently is COVID-19 testing conducted for the asymptomatic testing program?


Testing is conducted weekly. 


Are schools providing rapid antigen or PCR tests?


Responsive Lab Partners is on site at all schools administering COVID-19 tests. All schools offer antigen tests for screenings and close contact exposure as well as PCR for students and staff who develop symptoms while on school campuses. When a rapid antigen test is positive, our lab partners have the capacity to do a confirmatory PCR test before the student or staff leaves campus. UC San Diego is contracted to offer PCR tests at UCSD Drive-Up locations. 


Will on-site tests be available to all students, or just those who enroll in the testing program?


San Diego Unified has an “opt-in” form that parents/guardians are encouraged to sign. Once they sign the “opt-in” form, parents/guardians must register and consent in the Primary.Health portal in order to be tested. Only those students who signed consent can get testing at school sites. Parents can opt in or opt out at any time.


Will tests that are administered outside of the school system be accepted for re-entry into the classroom before traditional quarantine is completed, assuming the test results are negative?


Tests done outside of the school testing program are honored as equal to any test that is done at a school setting. These tests can shorten or eliminate an “at-home” quarantine, as long as they are within the regulations defined by the California Department of Public Health. The County’s public health order (and this district) do not have any quarantine or isolation practices that differ from those that the State requires.


I have heard that antigen tests need to be followed by PCR tests, is that true? 


No, antigen tests no longer need to be followed by PCR tests. Negative results from antigen tests, including rapid at-home tests, are accepted as long as a photo of the result with the time and date taken is provided.

Where can I find the latest COVID-19 testing data?


COVID-19 test results will be updated as they are received and promptly published to the district dashboard.

Is testing available to all students and staff on campus?

Yes, all schools and main district administrative offices have COVID testing capabilities.

Online learners can go to the County website for test availability. San Diego County has convenient testing facilities located near your home or school. For a list of those sites and their hours of operation, see this County map, or call 211 for information.

Why is the district not mandating testing for all students like Los Angeles Unified?

San Diego Unified is making testing universal by visiting every school campus once per week to test all unvaccinated staff members. Any student may get tested at that time, and many students will be required to take part in testing in order to participate in after school athletics. Additionally, schools may do follow-up testing of close contacts of anyone who tests positive. This follow-up testing means after close contact with someone at school, who tests positive, students must either quarantine at home or take part in frequent testing at school, subject to the County decision tree.


If a student or staff member tests COVID-19 positive, what are the protocols? 


The District follows the San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego County Public Health’s co-developed Decision Tree which is designed to assist school personnel in making decisions on how to handle students or staff members who become ill or present symptoms while at school. Students and staff who test positive or are a close contact of someone who tests positive may be required to stay home for a prescribed period of time as determined by a county public health decision tree. The County guidelines are frequently updated, so please contact your site nurse for more specific information.




See Also: Medical Safety of Vaccines and Confronting Misinformation

Is there a student vaccine mandate? (updated - 5/25/22)

On Tuesday, May 24, the Board of Education approved an amendment to postpone the District’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students and align with the State to implement the mandate no sooner than July 2023. 

This means there will be no requirement for COVID-19 vaccination for any student group to participate in summer school, extracurricular programs (including athletics), or in-person instruction during the 2022-2023 school year. 

San Diego Unified expects that by postponing the implementation of the student vaccine mandate, additional age groups will receive full FDA approval, allowing the mandate to apply to a broader school-wide age range when implemented. We are also hopeful that newer versions of the vaccine may become available, providing better protection against current strains of the virus.


What is the vaccine requirement for staff?


On September 28, 2021 the Board of Education Trustees voted unanimously to require all District employees, partners, contractors and other adults who work directly with students and district employees on district property to be fully-vaccinated on or before December 20, 2021. Details of this Board presentation can be found here. Fully vaccinated means having received the two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Booster shots are not required, but are highly recommended.


The health and safety of our students and employees is paramount, therefore, this mandate is a condition of employment for employees; the District may take disciplinary action, up to and including termination for employees who do not comply with this mandate.


New employees will also be required to show proof of vaccination.


Where can I take my student to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

For a list of vaccine centers near you, please go to http://myturn.ca.gov/. If you cannot find a vaccine center near you, please contact your primary care provider or health office. Information from the County of San Diego can be found here. The district will be hosting vaccine clinics at school sites. Information will be posted on the district COVID-19 vaccine website.  


How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost? 

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all students at no cost, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

When vaccines are offered at school sites, do parents or guardians need to accompany students to be vaccinated? 

Parents and guardians do not need to accompany students to be vaccinated so long as the student is enrolled at the school offering vaccines. Parents and guardians are welcome to accompany students or to designate a responsible adult to accompany their child. Eligible students will be vaccinated if they present a vaccination consent form signed by a parent or guardian. See the district’s Nursing & Wellness website for more details for vaccine availability. 

Do students need parental consent to be vaccinated?

Yes. With limited exceptions for emancipated minors and others legally permitted to self-consent, students age 12-17 will not be vaccinated without written consent from a parent or legal guardian. See the district’s Nursing & Wellness websitefor more details for vaccine availability.

Students on campus

What will instruction look like for the new year?

Students on campus will take part in in-person instruction, maintain connection  with teachers and peers, access to supports  and enrichment opportunities and incorporate technology in new ways. 

How will attendance be taken?

Student attendance will be taken daily in PowerSchool.

Will my student have access to on-campus meals?

Yes. All meals are available at no charge for all students, regardless of family income. School sites will provide contact-free meal service to protect students and employees.  Students participating in on-site learning will receive a nutritious lunch daily. School sites will offer take-home meal bags with breakfast for the next day, evening and weekend meals to all students as they depart for the day.

Some middle and high schools may offer breakfast on-campus during their nutrition break passing period. Students participating in Primetime and 21st Century after school programs will be offered their evening meals on-campus during those programs. 

What is the protocol for PE classes? Will students have access to locker rooms?

Physical distancing is no longer required during PE. Should a student contract COVID-19, the school site will follow the school/district policy. If parents have a concern with their student participating in PE due to COVID-19, they should speak with their school site to request a modified program.  

Students will have access to locker rooms. Due to possible changes to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, please confirm this information with your school site.

What is the district doing to keep students safe while riding a school bus?

Students are strongly recommended to wear masks, they will be seated strategically, windows will be open and a vent will be used for circulation.


Are field trips permitted?


Yes, effective Feb. 16, all field trips are permitted to resume for both indoor and outdoor venues. All health and safety guidelines for the venue must be followed.


Will Prom dances be allowed to take place this year?


Yes. However, per the indoor guidance, all dances, including prom, must be held outdoors only.

What events and activities are currently permitted to take place on campus?

Effective February 10, 2022, indoor events and activities,  including but not limited to, performances, shows, plays, and athletic events, are permitted to resume as long as the event coordinators and all participants and attendees adhere to updated health and safety guidance.

What safety measures are in place for indoor events and activities? (updated - 6/8/22) 

It is strongly encouraged that all events are held outdoors, including any open house, awards assemblies, promotion/graduation celebrations or other end of year events.
If an event is held indoors, masks are required for all attendees and participants.

It is recommended that spectators separate by household using empty seats if space allows.

Proof of vaccination or recent test verification is required for mega-events involving greater than 1,000 people total ( including guests, observers, participants, performers, employees, volunteers, etc.).

  • Guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID must provide acceptable proof of vaccination and ID before entering the event. Guests who are unvaccinated must provide proof of a negative test result before attending or entering the event. 
  • Guests can either have proof of a COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test within 48 hours of the event, or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of the event.  This cannot be a home test. Documentation (printed or digital) must include:  1) type of test (PCR or antigen); 2) name of the laboratory or healthcare entity that performed the test; 3) specimen collection date (sample must be taken within 48 hours of the event); 4) information that identifies the person (full name plus at least one other identifier, such as date of birth, address, etc); 5) a negative test result

Prior to the event/activity, participants will review the daily symptom checklist at home (or use ClearPass) before arrival to the event. If they answer “yes” to any symptoms, the participant needs to stay home. This process is an expectation, but will not be checked at the event/activity.

Participants and attendees will be reminded to maintain 6-feet of distance whenever possible and hand sanitizer will be made available for use.

If food/drinks are to be served, service and eating must be outdoors. 

Coming onto campus

Are families able to come on campus?

To comply with the health and safety guidelines, only essential visitors or volunteers will be on campus. Please contact your school site to learn who qualifies as an essential visitor/volunteer. All visitors and volunteers must comply with the district’s school health and safety guidelines. 

Families are permitted on campus for special events as designated by the school site administrator.

Can parents volunteer at schools?

Yes - with approval by their school administration. All volunteers must adhere to our health and safety guidelines as well as the California Department of Public Health guidance for K12 schools. 


How do I enroll my student in San Diego Unified? 

All students are guaranteed enrollment in their neighborhood school. Families who are new to the district may pre-enroll online or in person. For details on the enrollment process, please visit our Office of Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options. There, you will find information on enrollment procedures for continuing and new-to-district families, along with other useful information.

How do I enroll for the online school (virtual academy)? 

We understand that not everyone will be ready or comfortable with returning to in-person learning. With that in mind, all San Diego Unified K-12 students have the option to enroll in the new online Virtual Academy for the 2021-22 school year.  

Students who still wish to enroll in the Virtual Academy should complete this interest form or simply email virtualacademy@sandi.net with your child’s name, grade level for 2021-22, student ID number, and current school of attendance.

Students and families will be sent classroom information prior to the first day of school.

Can I apply to attend a school outside of my neighborhood?

Yes, families who are new to the district are welcome to enroll via the Choice program for 2021-2022. If space is still available, your student may be offered enrollment. For more, please visit our Office of Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options

How can I apply to an Early Learning program for my 3 or 4 year old?

Many elementary schools in San Diego Unified are now offering Universal Transitional Kindergarten for students who will be 4 by September 1. The program provides students with a full day of learning through exploration, inquiry, and interaction every day. It’s a great way to give your children the knowledge and skills needed for kindergarten success. If your student is too young for the full-day program, or you are interested in a part-day program for any other reason, many schools have morning and afternoon-only options available.

There are no school boundary requirements for either program, and if your first school choice isn’t available, you’re free to choose another. To enroll in either program, please call the Neighborhood School and Enrollment Options office at (619) 260-2410. You may also visit us in person at 4100 Normal Street, Annex 12. Our office hours are from 8:30a to 4:30p, and Zoom appointments are also available. You may also enroll directly in transitional kindergarten by contacting any of the schools offering the program. Over the next few years, the district will expand early learning across the entire district. We’re looking forward to seeing your little ones!


Online Option

Is there still time to enroll for school, including online school?

Yes. See Enrollment Options.

How do I enroll for the online school? 

We understand that not everyone will be ready or comfortable with returning to in-person learning. With that in mind, all San Diego Unified K-12 students have the option to enroll in the new online Virtual Academy for the 2021-22 school year.  

Students who still wish to enroll in the Virtual Academy should complete this interest form at https://tinyurl.com/yebjh4hg or simply email virtualacademy@sandi.net with your child’s name, grade level for 2021-22, student ID number, and current school of attendance.

Students  and families will be sent classroom information prior to the first day of school.

If I enroll for the online school, will I lose my place at my current school of attendance?


What will online learning look like? 

Students enrolled in the Virtual Academy will participate in both “live” & asynchronous instruction. Students will have cameras on during “live” whole group and small group. Be ready to learn with materials. Have a dedicated space at-home for learning. Instruction for elementary students includes 1/3 “live” whole group instruction, 1/3 “live” small group instruction, and 1/3 independent practice.

Instruction for secondary students will include three classes per quarter: 1/3 “live” whole group instruction,1/3 additional whole group or small group instruction, 1/3 office hours & independent practice and additional 90 minutes asynchronous learning. Our Back to School Guide, page 19-26 has more information related to instruction. 

What will students be expected to do?

Virtual learners will have 360 instructional minutes, not inclusive of snack or lunch breaks; Online academic instruction, social-emotional learning, and opportunities for onsite learning, extracurriculars, and special in-person events.


Family Resources

How do I learn about the policies and protocols in place at the district this school year? 

Our Back to School Guide includes resources and up-to-date information for families on operations this school year.

How can families help their students transition back to school?

  • Establishing routines that work best for your child
  • Continuing ongoing communication with your child’s educators
  • Assuring your child they will be cared for and supported at school
  • Having a designated time and space to read, review school content or study
  • Scheduling special times when students can discuss their school experiences

Tips and strategies families can cultivate at home:

  • Stay healthy: Continue to follow all public health guidelines to protect you and others from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Monitor district communication for up-to-date information.
  • Communicate with school staff regarding technology needs. The district has set up a technology helpline to assist students and families. The Family Technology Support Line is available to assist families.  Please call  (619) 732-1400 from 8:00  am to 5:00 pm. 
  • Continue to enhance your wellness and the well-being of your family. Our Wellness website has family and student resources. 
  • Be gentle with yourself and your family. Remember: We are in this together and we are here to support you. 

Will the district be partnering with parents to offer support? 

Yes. The Family Engagement Department has resources available to help parents:

  • Families can use High Impact Home Strategies to support their child’s learning at home.
  • Online training modules for students and families. These modules will be available for families to access at their convenience. 
  • The Family Engagement Department, will continue to offer weekly family workshops, designed for parents and students participation, to enhance student learning and family engagement. Family Engagement Events Calendar

The Family Engagement team has office hours available to support families. To learn more about the many resources offered by the Family Engagement Department, their website

What other services will be provided to families? 

Parents as Partners will continue to support families as the new year begins.  The district is committed to helping  families in an effort to accelerate student learning.

Parent coaching sessions will continue to be online to accommodate the schedules of our families. The platform provides our families the convenience of joining virtual sessions from any location using the device of their choice. Coaching sessions allow families and district staff to deepen connections, listen to a variety of voices, seek input, and answer questions.

We know family involvement impacts student growth and achievement, and therefore we are excited to continue these monthly coaching sessions.   


Social and emotional well-being

Will the district support students’ physical, social and emotional well-being? 

Yes. The district continues to support students’ social, emotional and physical well-being during these unprecedented times. Students are provided with a positive school environment, wellness lessons included in everyday instruction, connecting families with needed social services, and referral and intervention services.

Is my school counselor available to offer support? 

Yes, school counselors will be offering direct student and family services. Counselors will be checking in with students and providing support to students in their academic progress and social-emotional health. Students and families may be offered individual, group interventions or a combination of both.

I need help (mental health) 

Mental health and wellness is critical for parents and students during this challenging time. The district has created a web site with available resources. There’s also a self-care tool for youth Gritx.org and a mindfulness platform specifically designed for mental health, Inner Explorer, that includes short, 5-10 minute activities for our students and families. Below are additional resources available to our students and families. 

Mental Health Resource Center

Our Mental Health Resource Center offers a variety of mental health services to our students, including services for students with IEPs. Please see services provided to students here.

School Link Mental Health

Teen Recovery Centers

Other additional resources

The California Department of Education - Student and Family Mental Health Resources

Child Abuse Hotline 1-858-560-2191

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233

Mental Health and Substance Use Services 1-888-724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

How else can we stay healthy?

Stay active! Our physical education teachers have set up a site for continued learning. The district athletics department has also shared information.

Making sure all students feel welcome

What is the district doing to build anti-racist and restorative school communities? 

The Board of Education recently approved the revision of our suspension/expulsion procedures as well as the implementation of our Restorative Discipline Policy. 

How do the actions taken by the Board of Education help eliminate inequities?

The revision of our suspension/expulsion procedures and our Restorative Discipline Policy will eliminate the barriers that prevent our students of color from receiving equitable access, experiences, and outcomes. 

What other actions have the district implemented to eliminate inequities?

The district formed the Transforming School Police Working Group to improve student experiences with school police and eliminate the barriers that prevent students of color from receiving equitable access, experiences, and outcomes.

What was the outcome of the Transforming School Police Working Group?

The Board of Trustees approved the working group’s recommendations to help guide the district’s path forward as it works to transform the way we provide support to students through school police. Among the recommendations: 

  • Assess the impact of school police interactions with youth and community
  • Train School Police on how to engage with youth and community members    
  • Train our site leaders around school police involvement  
  • Shift to a cluster-wide school police support model to ensuring school police resources are strategically deployed
  • Change School Police uniforms to allow for more approachability while still maintaining identification that preserves the safety of the officer and those they serve

Student success

How will students be tested and assessed?

The District is committed to providing students with meaningful assessments and feedback. Educators will engage students in fair, valid and reliable formative and summative assessments to inform instruction and to provide regular and timely feedback.

 Will we still have state testing? 

Yes. The California Department of Education has released the testing calendar for the 2021-22 school year.

Can you explain how the standards-based grading policy works?  

Our standards remain rigorous, relevant, and aligned to state standards. Providing opportunities for revision and reassessment will allow students to relearn content or material that they may not have fully understood the first time it was taught. Students will be able to learn from their mistakes and demonstrate mastery of knowledge at more than just one point in time.

When will the revised grading policy be fully implemented for grades 6-12?

Staff have begun implementation of the policy and will continue to collaborate and align grading practices to the revised policy. New academic definitions, citizenship marks, and grading comments will be available for use within PowerSchool for the 2021-22 school year. 

Why is the district making this shift?

Our focus as a district continues to be on educating the whole child and providing quality, standards-based instruction for each child in every neighborhood. At the elementary level, educators have been using standards-based grading and reporting practices for nearly a decade. The shift in our grading policy is to provide clarity and transparency in communicating progress toward mastery of standards for our entire San Diego Unified community, TK-12. By removing non-academic factors from the academic grade and ensuring students have multiple means and opportunities to demonstrate mastery, our academic grades will more accurately reflect student knowledge and skill.

What are the “nonacademic factors” that will move to the citizenship grade?

Nonacademic factors include general behavior, punctuality, effort, and work habits. Students are still expected to turn assignments in on time and behave appropriately, however these factors will now directly affect the citizenship grade rather than the academic grade. Educators will still have due dates for assignments and will establish a timeframe for when late work will be accepted. 

Will ALL assignments be revised or reassessed? 

Educators will provide “opportunities” for revision and reassessment. Educators will determine the type and frequency of revisions and reassessments based on their content area. Due dates for class assignments, late submissions, revisions and reassessments will also be established in order to give educators enough time to enter scores into the final grade. Over the next few weeks, educators, grade-level teams, departments and school sites will determine which assignments can be revised or reassessed and will communicate directly with families the type, frequency, and timeframe.  

Digital access

Will students be required to transport their devices each day?

Yes, students should be expected to transport their devices each day from home to school and back unless directed otherwise by their school and/or teacher.

What if I don’t have a computer?

We will continue to provide personal laptops to families that need them. Your school of enrollment will be able to distribute devices and will provide instructions so you may plan for a pick-up. 

What do I have to bring to get a computer?

Your school of enrollment will provide you with this information.

What if I am having issues with the computer I was given or need tech support?

The Family Technology Support Line is available to assist families.  Please call  (619) 732-1400 from 8:00  am to 5:00 pm. 

What if I don’t have access to the internet?

Families that need help with connectivity, call  (619) 260-2460. 

Will my student be safe online with a district-issued computer?

San Diego Unified has implemented a new cloud based-web filtering software for students called iboss. It allows the district to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and extends web filtering for student devices regardless of the location they are learning in. With the iboss cloud, security follows the student, and ensures that the same level of protection and compliance is applied to a student regardless of whether they are on campus or at home. All district distributed Chromebooks will have the web filtering extension installed on it, no action will be required from the students or school staff.

Special Education 

How is the district supporting students with IEPs?

The Special Education department is committed to supporting students and families in an integrated way by providing increased Related Service providers (Speech and Language Pathologists and School Psychologists) assigned to school sites.

 English Learners

How is the district supporting English Learners?

The Office of Language Acquisition (OLA) continues to support our multilingual learners with instructional supports to accelerate their language growth and development. If you have additional questions, please email ola@sandi.net

Specific Subjects

What do you have for the Arts? 

The health and safety of all students is the highest priority of the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department.  As such, the VAPA staff continues to inform and support teachers and schools to follow all health and safety guidance.

Will students be taught sex education and health education this year, whether online or in-person? 

Students currently in grade 6, grade 8, in high school biology, or in a 10th grade class will receive sex education, whether offered in-person or online. If offered online, the curriculum has been adapted to an online learning environment.

Are my college courses still available online?

Most community college courses will remain online for Fall 2021. Students need to access the SDCCD Canvas Login Page and will need to use their 10-digit College Student Identification (CSID) number, and password, to access their coursework. 


What are the current Student Athlete testing and masking requirements?



All Student Athletes participating in outdoor sports must adhere to the following guidance:

  • Wearing a mask is encouraged but NOT mandatory.
  • All outdoor Student Athletes who are unvaccinated are REQUIRED to test once a week.
  • All Student Athletes who are vaccinated do not need to test weekly.
  • Spring CIF outdoor Board of Education approved sports are as follows: CIF Baseball, CIF Boys Golf, CIF Boys LAX, CIF Girls LAX, CIF Softball, CIF Swim & Dive, CIF Boys Tennis, CIF Track & Field


All Student Athletes participating in indoor sports must adhere to the following guidance:

  • Wearing a mask is encouraged but NOT mandatory.
  • All indoor Student Athletes are REQUIRED to test once a week regardless of vaccination status.
  • Spring CIF indoor Board of Education approved sports are as follows: CIF Badminton, CIF Boys Volleyball 

 Any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID, regardless of vaccine status, should stay home from practice/games. Contact tracing data showed that most “team breakouts” in the fall and winter seasons were tied to students not staying home when they exhibited symptoms. Sacrifice the one game/practice to ensure the whole team isn’t impacted on a larger scale.


What are the requirements for spectators? 


It is recommended that spectators separate by household using empty seats if space allows. Masks are not required but strongly recommended for all attendees of a sporting event.



Which sports are now taking place in San Diego Unified?

Traditional seasons for all student athletes (fall, winter, spring) are back for 2021-22.

Due to possible changes to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, please confirm all sports-related information with your school site. 

Do students playing sports have to be tested? 

Weekly testing will continue to be required for students who are not vaccinated for all sports. Contact your school site for more information regarding testing. 

Now that all sports are open, can I watch my student play and practice?


Health and Safety  Protocols have been established for all  athletic events.  Please check with your school site for indoor and outdoor spectator policies and viewing options.

Are parents allowed to watch their student athletes participate in indoor CIF sporting events? 

Please check with your  school site for indoor and  outdoor spectator policies  and viewing options. Parents can stay up-to-date by visiting the CIF San Diego Section Updated Information and Calendars: www.cifsds.org/.



How about my pets?

The San Diego Humane Society is supporting families and their pets who need extra help during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit the Human Society website at https://www.sdhumane.org/programs/support-services/pantry-service.html